March 28, 2015

What I've Been Doing and Eating the Last Few Months!

It's a little hard to summarize what I've been doing lately when my last post was from Halloween 2014 and I don't even know where the last four months went!

I guess I should start by apologizing for my disappearance from this blog.  My posting had slowed down considerably last year as I began to spend all of my time locked in my room writing my PhD dissertation.  I then decided I had to stop all blog-related activities altogether in the fall as I prepared for my defense (which I passed!).  Following that, I moved right into a heavy workload on a large project, and by the time I settled in and was able to make time for blogging again, it seemed like taking on another large job that I wasn't ready for.

Now that I have a little more free time on my hands, I'm hoping to start getting back into somewhat regular posting.  I can't promise anything, and any time this blog becomes more of a hassle or unwanted workload than a fun pastime I may slow down or stop again, but for now I miss sharing recipes with you guys and hope to have time to do it a little more often moving forward!

Before I get back to posting regular recipes, I thought I'd share some of my favourite and random eats over the last few months, going back to last Fall!

Pumpkin pancakes

I can't remember which recipe I used for these pumpkin pancakes last October but they were fluffy and delicious.  Essential fall breakfast eating!

Cheese and charcuterie plates

Over the holidays my family enjoyed many gatherings over cheese boards and charcuterie.  If only I could eat cheese for every meal.

Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners

Pictured above were my Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner plates - my favourite meals of the year!  All of my family members and relatives are amazing cooks and all pitch in, often trying new recipes so every year is different and exciting!

Roasted grape and goat cheese crostini

As a Christmas Eve appetizer I made crostini with roasted grapes and hazelnut goat cheese. This picture doesn't do it justice but it was really tasty; if you haven't tried roasted grapes before you might be surprised at how much you like them!  The recipe I used is from MJ and Hungryman.

Italian stuffed mushrooms

On New Year's Eve we had an Italian food theme so I contributed some storebought antipasto and mozzarella sticks along with my Italian stuffed mushrooms and some caprese polenta squares. We also enjoyed a tomato mozzarella tart as well as other appetizers and delicious cannolis to end the meal!

Snickerdoodle biscoff sandwich cookies

The only holiday baking I had time for this year were these snickerdoodle biscoff sandwich cookies from Two Peas & Their Pod, which were some of my favourite cookies I've ever made!  I'll definitely have to make them again next year, though there's no reason to limit these to the holidays!

Peanut butter and jelly baked oatmeal for Valentine's Day

For Valentine's breakfast this year, I gave my baked peanut butter and jelly oatmeal a Valentine's twist by shaping the jam into hearts.  It turned out so well for each portion to be topped with a heart, but this recipe is great any time of year too!

Salmon, mashed potatoes, and broccoli

For our Valentine's dinner I made the Beeroness' molasses stout glazed salmon, served with Ellie Krieger's healthier mashed potatoes and some steamed broccoli for a lighter but still tasty meal.

Avocado chocolate pudding

We followed our meal up with a healthy dessert too, trying avocado chocolate pudding for the first time.  I know the poor lighting in this picture doesn't make it look good, but it was delicious!  I couldn't taste the avocado but it made the pudding so rich and creamy.  You have to try it if you haven't already!  I used this recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod.

Other regular meals throughout the past few months included:

Sweet potato skillet meal

This easy tex mex sweet potato skillet from ifoodreal - there was nothing not to love about this meal!

Crockpot shredded bbq chicken

We've been using our slow cooker a lot lately for easy meals and our favourite is shredded bbq chicken - so easy and perfect for sandwiches.

Vegan "parmesan"

I tried vegan almond "parmesan" made by grinding almonds, nutritional yeast, and some seasoning in a food processor.  It was surprisingly good and made a nice change from parmesan for topping pasta!

Broccoli, chicken, spinach, and rice casserole

Another easy dish we've made a few times is this chicken, broccoli, and rice casserole with kale from ifoodreal, though I prefer making it with spinach.  An easy and healthy weeknight  meal!

Green smoothie

Since  I've been working from home often, I love making smoothies for an afternoon snack - usually with frozen banana, almond milk, oats, flax, sometimes peanut butter, and spinach. So good!

Cauliflower rice with peanut tofu

I tried cauliflower rice for the first time and loved it!  I used it in this crispy peanut tofu and cauliflower rice stirfry from Minimalist Baker, which was a super flavourful and healthy meal that I can't wait to make again!

Peanutty Quinoa, Tofu, and Broccoli Bowls

A similar recipe I make often is this peanut quinoa bowl with broccoli, red pepper, and tofu from Oh My Veggies.  It's a little time consuming to prepare but worth it!

Salad with chicken

Often when we don't have time to plan dinner, we end up having salad, which is fine by me!

Lentil vegetable stew

I love stews in the winter and my lentil and vegetable stew is filling, comforting, and healthy. I usually make it with some adjustments, including adding potatoes and using beef broth instead of vegetable broth.

Baked squash mac and cheese

This "grown up mac and cheese" with whole wheat macaroni, squash, kale, and mushrooms was healthier than regular mac and cheese and still tasty!  As is becoming apparent, I've been relying a lot on one-pot meals and casseroles lately!

I've also gone on lots of cold and snowy walks this winter, which have been very refreshing, but now I'm ready for Spring and warmer weather!

Finally, I post a little more often on Instagram, so feel free to follow along there if you're not already!

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